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Destruction of flora by fires

Find, identify and discuss the plants of all the SANParks
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:21 am

Re: Destruction of flora by fires

Unread post by Blougansie » Tue May 26, 2009 1:44 pm

Sjucks , this is such a lot of information , thanks to all the contributers- very interesting indeed - It's just the last point Imberbe makes about Boscia albitrunca , that has now bowled me out completly. Here I am walking my old army boots flenters (into little pieces) looking for Witgatbome in the Karoo. Understandably we are talking of completly different biomes here , but , before the onslaught of man there were many more Witgatbome in the karoo areas ( this judging by the trekpale on all the old fences and some that was written by the old explorers and writers in time ) I was under the impression that these are fairly slow growing trees , well at least in the karoo area , where the few that I have seen never become particularly large trees . Obviously getting less water , nutrients and shallow soils are limiting factors here , but there is no new seedlings that I have ever seen of these trees on my explorations. The carrying capacity of the veld also suports far less herbivores. The karoo areas also do not tolerate frequent burning that well , and one can expect a loss of species diversity should the veld burn to frequently. The few populations of Witgatbome in the karoo are so far and isolated from each other , one can expect far less seeds and less germination.
What I am actually asking, but if one can keep the above in mind , is the regular burning not affecting the trees in the Savanna area to produce more seeds and giving the seeds a better chance of germination because of all the nutrients that the fires release and that are being made available to young seedlings and thereby contributing to bush encroachment rather than the opposite . The discussions above refers mostly to savanah biome- is all of Kruger Park classified as specifically savanah AND LASTLY-regarding the succession of grass species- is there a distinction made between pioneer grass species and climax grass species , and if so , will the regular fires not inhibit the growth of these climax species and eventually lead to extinction of these grasses in the park. A young witgattree seedling may be a juicy titbit for karoo herbivores , but surely for Kruger animals too. Most of all I also understand the difficult position of the parks managment in having to please both tourists and also having to fullfill the ethos of pure conservationists , who would rather see no human intervention , such as lighting fires.
Thanks /Cheers

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